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American mountain-ash facts for kids

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American mountain-ash
Sorbus americana.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
S. americana
Binomial name
Sorbus americana
Sorbus americana.png
Distribution map of native Sorbus americana range.
  • Aucuparia americana (Marshall) Nieuwl.
  • Pyrus americana (Marshall) DC.
  • Pyrus americana (Marshall) Spreng.

The tree species Sorbus americana is commonly known as the American mountain-ash. It is a deciduous perennial tree, native to eastern North America.

The American mountain-ash and related species (most often the European mountain-ash, Sorbus aucuparia) are also referred to as rowan trees.


Sorbus americana is a relatively small tree, reaching 12 metres (40 ft) in height. The American mountain-ash attains its largest specimens on the northern shores of Lake Huron and Lake Superior.

It resembles the European mountain-ash, Sorbus aucuparia.


Native to eastern North America;

  • Eastern Canada – New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec
  • Northeastern United States – Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont
  • North-Central United States – Illinois [n. (Ogle Co.)], Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin. Listed as endangered by the State of Illinois
  • Southeastern United StatesAppalachian Mountains, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia


The berries of American mountain-ash are eaten by numerous species of birds, including ruffed grouse, ptarmigans, sharp-tailed grouse, blue grouse, American robins, other thrushes, waxwings, jays, and small mammals, such as squirrels and rodents.

American mountain-ash is a preferred browse for moose and white-tailed deer. Moose will eat foliage, twigs, and bark. Up to 80 percent of American mountain-ash stems were browsed by moose in control plots adjacent to exclosures on Isle Royale. Fishers, martens, snowshoe hares, and ruffed grouse also browse American mountain-ash.


Sorbus americana is cultivated as an ornamental tree, for use in gardens and parks. It prefers a rich moist soil and the borders of swamps, but will flourish on rocky hillsides.

A cultivar is the red cascade mountain-ash, or Sorbus americana 'Dwarfcrown'. It is planted in gardens, and as a street tree.


After their first winter freeze, the fruits are edible raw or cooked. They can be used to make pie and jelly.

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